By Muambo Edward
Football Writer, kick442.com -Cameroon
The Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon welcome the Copper Queens of Zambia for the first leg game of the fifth and final round of Women’s qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Thursday.
Cameroon are looking to return to the Olympic Games after a catastrophic debut in London 2012, where they lost all three games, conceding 11 goals and replying with just one.
Cameroon battled against Ethiopia, the DR Congo, and Côte d’Ivoire to get to this stage.
Zambia on their part had a walkover against Angola in the first round, had another walkover [qualification by default] against Zimbabwe in the second round after beating them in the first leg game 5-0, Zimbabwe backed out of the second leg. They made light work of Botswana with a 3-0 aggregate score in the third round and edged Kenya 3-2 on aggregate in the fourth round.
The Copper Queens of Zambia have stunned all and sundry to get to this stage of the qualifiers and Cameroon forward Nchout Njoya Ajara is aware of the threat they might pose and warns her teammates against any complacency.
Ajara has been Cameroon’s most lethal weapon with three goals in the qualifiers. The Valerenga forward and her teammates dream of making it to Tokyo.
“We will go into the tie with all our arsenal and we know what we expect especially after seeing Zambia’s path to this round where they have eliminated some of the best teams”, Ajara told cafonline.com.
“This is a team that cannot be taken lightly. The Olympic Games is a prestigious competition and only the best participate in it. It is the dream of any sportsman to be part this beautiful competition.
“There is pressure as this is a decisive match. It is like playing in a final but it will still remain a game like any other.
“We will give it everything on the field. Zambia is much more about team spirit and we will have to be wary about everyone.”
However, Cameroon will have to be particularly wary of ZESCO United’s 22-year-old forward Grace Chanda who has scored six goals in the qualifiers just like the Malawi duo of Tabitha and Temwa Chawinga.
Other players to be keep a close eye on in this very young Zambian team are 19-year-old forward Racheal Kundanaji, Lushomo Mweemba, Mary Mwakapila, Misozi Zulu and Martha Tembo.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two sides after previously meeting in the group stage and semi-finals of the COSAFA Women’s championship in 2018 in South Africa. Zambia beat Cameroon at the group stage 1-0 and Cameroon eliminated them at the semi-finals five days later, on a similar score. Their only other meeting was a 0-0 draw in an international friendly.
Cameroon takes on Zambia for the first leg tomorrow Thursday at 3:30 PM CAT at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, before traveling to Lusaka five days later to face Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium.
The winner of this double header will qualify automatically while the loser has a chance to qualify through a playoff against the second-placed team the 2018 Copa America Femenina, Chile on a two-legged home-and-away basis playoff in April.
Alain Djeumfa’s team are considered by many as the favorites but write off the Copper Queens at your own risk.
Coach Bruce Mwape has built a very competitive young team that will give any one a run for the their money.
Copyright 2020 ©kick442.com
This site is not responsible for the content displayed by external sites.